A WELL WORTHY UPDATE TO DILLENGER’s off road kits
Hey guys, it’s Eric from E-Biking Now and this time around we’ve got the pre-production, 500W Off Road Conversion Kit from Dillenger. I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a kit review, and some of you guys are more into kits, so this is a treat for you custom ebikers. Now this Dillenger kit is a prototype version. I’ve been fortunate enough to have Dillenger send this out to me to review and provide feedback. So if you’re looking for a new powerful off road eBike kit, or wanting to upgrade your current set up, this is something you’ll be interested in. Alright, let’s get into it.
Unboxing was standard, just the usual. If you haven’t watched the Unboxing and Installation video yet, check it out at the bottom. But basically the kit provides you with the wheel and motor, battery, LCD display and all your cables and fittings. Stuff we’re all familiar with. The packaging is identical to previous conversion kits from the guys. So, you’ll have your wheel sort of in the centre to the side which is held by foam corner pieces and your battery and accessories on the sides in their respective boxes. Like I said, this is a pre-retail version, so there may be some small changes with the official release, but nothing significant I think – except for one thing. And that is the brake sensors. My kit didn’t receive any, but you can rest assured that the final version will have them. And I definitely recommend installing and using them.
A Little More About The Kit
A little bit more about the kit, it’s a rear hub drive. This means that it’s only compatible with being the rear wheel of your bike. It comes in an array of wheel sizes from 20” to 29”. So you’ll have no issues with wheel size compatibility with this kit. It’ll also fit your standard 138 and 142 millimetre rear drop outs. And according to Dillenger, the motor may also fit boost axles as well. These are the 148mm drop outs found on higher end modern bikes. It’ll require a bit of finessing, but in saying that most boost equipped bikes, and 142mm rear dropout bikes use thru axles anyway, which the kit is not compatible with. So make sure you know what you’ve got, and if you don’t know, I’m sure a local bike shop will be happy to help. One thing I forgot to mention is that the wheel and motor is rim brake friendly. For those who use them, don’t worry you’re covered. However this does raise a longevity factor. With rim brakes, you’ll need to replace the rim once the braking surface has worn out. This does take a long time, but with a motorised bike, the life span of the wheel will be shorter. I guess you can keep the motor when it comes to that and get the rim replaced. Just something to consider.
On the topic of compatibility, something that is easily overlooked and never really mentioned is the fitment for dual suspension bikes. Thanks to the huge battery pack, the kit is unfortunately not compatible with dual suspension bikes. Maybe dualies with the shock mounted on the top tube, but definitely not any other set up. Measuring at 33cm in length, 13cm in height and 8.5cm in width, the battery is quite large and weighs in at roughly 5kg. This combined with the wheel will add about 12kg. Because of this, my bike was a total 22kg which is about normal for an eBike. Now with my kit I got a 48V 14.5Ah battery fitted with Samsung Cells. However I’ve received word that Dillenger are going to make a slight change. The final version will be a 48V 17.5Ah battery equipped with Samsung Cells. So pretty much the same, but they’ll be increasing the capacity. The hard case will remain the same as well.
Although the battery is changing, the motor will remain the same. It’s the 500W nominal and 1000W peak G360 motor supplied by Bafang. Dillenger usually equip their kits with their OEM motors, however this time round, they’ve opted for motors from the well known group. This move is something they’ve recently turned to such that their latest Vermillion eBike was equipped with a Bafang motor as well. It’s a reputable brand who are recognised globally and found on a range of electric bikes. From the spec sheet, you find it’s a quality motor. It has been rated as a IP54 motor. The 5 indicates it’s dust protected and the 4 means it can withstand splashing water. So you’ll be able to ride this off road and it should be protected from the dust and splashes from water. I would be careful with washing it though. Definitely refrain from hosing it down directly as that would require a IP55 or IP56 rating.
I can already see the comments and messages I’m going to get asking if you can ride it in the rain, and to answer that, I’m going to say yes. Very light rain as it does say it can handle splashing and spraying water. Anything from medium to heavy rain will get risky. If you want to know more about “Are eBikes Waterproof?” definitely check out our other video which I’ve linked below. From that video you’ll know that I’m going to say the LCD won’t be able to withstand the rain like the motor. So protect it at all costs. Check out that video because I quickly show how you can do it for cheap.
This display unit is a Dillenger OEM screen which has the basic functions. It’ll show you your pedal assistance level, current speed and odometer. When you press the power button while it’s on, you’ll cycle a few more data displays, such as the time, average speed and maximum speed. This is all done on the thumb controller which is very simple and also can turn on the LCD’s backlight by holding down the Plus button. There’s also a cruise control function which will hold your bike at 6km/h if you hold the down button for 3 to 4 seconds. I didn’t get too much into the menus, but this bike is capable of some custom settings for the advanced users.
I installed this kit on a 26” wheel bike with 136mm rear drop outs and I didn’t really run into any significant issues. I’ve done kits before, so this was pretty straight forward for me. I ran into a few hiccups in terms of order of assembling. For example, you need to remove the rubber cap, bolt and spacer before putting on the cassette. But these were just minor learning curves which I mention and show in the Unboxing and Installation video. I’d say the only real problem I faced was getting the wheel into the drop outs. I needed to stretch my drop outs a bit to fit the wheel in. It was only like 2 to 3 millimetres, so it was almost there. Not sure if this is due to the motor or my bike though. Nevertheless, I got it on.
I’ll provide a quick recap on the installation for this conversion kit. It starts with removing your current rear wheel, which you’ll then grab the cassette, disc rotor, tyre and tube off. Dillenger do offer a Hub Conversion tool kit which includes the Shimano and SRAM cassette tool and a few other things to help with this, but it lacked a chain whip. I thought this was a little off and confused me because chain whips is a necessary tool for rear conversions. I guess they must’ve only thought of front wheel conversions. But moving on with the installation, you’ll transfer those parts onto your new wheel and motor, stick that assembly into the drop outs of your bike, add your battery, attach your LCD meter, and connect all the wiring which are all colour coded. From there it’s just cable management left. If you’re a first time converter or worried with the installation process, I show you how to do it step by step in the Unboxing and Installation video linked in the description box.
Using and Riding The Kit
Using the bike was simple. Once you’ve got the battery turned on via the switch behind the rubber flap, it’s like most other electric bikes. Hold down the middle power button on the thumb controller to turn on the bike, and adjust your pedal assistance with the up or down buttons. While using this kit, I noticed something that I’ve appreciated a lot more recently and that’s the automatic battery locking system. The casing uses a spring loaded pin that automatically locks once attached to the cradle. This is really handy for a number of reasons; let’s say you forgot to lock it; it prevents someone stealing or the battery jumping out while riding.
I tested the bike on road and off road, but mostly off road since it is an off-road kit. The motor is really nice. The combination of the Sine Wave controller and Bafang motor gives your bike that buttery smooth assistance. I literally sat in my second highest gear for most of my riding, because the motor was powerful enough to just skip those lower gears. On a bike, you naturally transfer power to the rear wheel, so having it on the rear makes it feel like a regular bike, but with someone helping you. Sort of like a tandem bike, but the other person is actually helping. It’s definitely the closest feeling to a normal bike out of the hub drives and mid drive layouts. I personally like my eBike to feel more like a regular bike for off road use. But I also like my off road eBikes to feel as responsive as a normal bike.
This is a preference thing, but since the kit uses a speed sensor, the pedal assistance will feel like it has a on and off switch. It either doesn’t give you anything, or gives you the maximum pedal assistance you’ve set. And I mean this is normal. This is perfectly normal and common with speed sensor equipped kits, and eBikes. Once the sensors pick up that you’re pedalling, it’ll provide assistance to maximum set limit. It does this in a very smooth manner though. Like I’ve mentioned, the controller uses a Sine Wave which is meant to provide smoother power delivery. Which the kit does. Bottom line is that, the kit comprises responsiveness for smooth power delivery. This translates to the delay between the rider ceasing to pedal and the motor stopping. While riding, I found that from the moment I stopped pedalling to the when the motor actually stopped providing me assistance, there was a 3 or 4 second gap. So I definitely recommend brake sensors with this kit, which the retail version will provide.
Because all this and the behaviour of the kit, I can see it being used on easy flowy trails or off road paths. The kit will provide performance and shine in those areas, because it’s got power behind it, and it’ll gives it to you nice and smooth. Now if we change the scene to something a little rougher and closer to singletrack trails, then the kit is a little more limited as it doesn’t suit it as much. This would be perfect for those who want a powerful motor and travel off road a lot. Off road touring would be the perfect environment for this kit. Especially with the larger 17.5Ah battery as well.
So the Dillenger Off Road kit is a conversion kit for off road use that you can retrofit to your bike. It’s pros are; the powerful motor from a reputable manufacturer, smooth power delivery, automatic locking battery which has a decent 17.5Ah capacity with Samsung cells, wide ranges of wheel sizes available and compatibility with both rim and disc brakes. While the kit’s cons was the minor motor fitment issues during installation, incompatibility with through axles and responsiveness.
Wrapping up the review and concluding it, the Dillenger Off Road kit which will be called the Samsung Powered Premium Off Road Kit is a great kit. Installation wasn’t difficult with the only issue being the drop out fitment which required a bit of finesse. The cables and plugs were all colour coded for easy assembly of the electrical wiring. This makes it a breeze! Performance wise, the power is there and smooth, but definitely install and use the brake sensors. I shared my issues with the responsiveness of the pedal input with Dillenger, and they’re going to tweak it and tighten it a bit. This conversion kit will replace their aging 1000W direct drive range in April this year with a price tag between $2000AUD and $2500AUD. Definitely have a look at this conversion kit if you want a smooth and fast off road kit, perfect for the flowy easy off road paths or country roads. If you want more info or want to buy the conversion kit, follow this link*.
*The link shows the page, but there currently isn’t any ‘Add To Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ button. This may be because it hasn’t officially released.
Unboxing and Installation Video